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FIRST - Tennis Court in Gloucester - Gloucester, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 51.938 W 002° 14.717
30U E 551966 N 5746362
Quick Description: The Grade I listed New Inn, built in the mid 15th century, is located on the south east side of Northgate Street in Gloucester. It is claimed that the first tennis court in Gloucester was here during Tudor times.
Location: Southern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/4/2014 8:59:53 AM
Waymark Code: WMKF26
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Zork V
Views: 3

Long Description:

A plaque, shaped in the form of an old fashioned scroll, is located at the entrance to the New Inn. It tells us:

The New Inn's Permanent Guests!

It was at the New Inn in 1553 that Lady Jane Grey heard the news that would lead to her untimely death.

She was manipulated by the Duke of Northumberland who had ambitions to rule the country through her. He arranged a marriage for her to his son and persuaded the 12 year old Edward VI, who was dying of tuberculosis, to sign a will bequeathing the crown to her.

The young king soon died and it was from the gallery of the New Inn that Lady Jane was provlaimed the new Queen.

It was not long before her cause was weakened as support for her rival, Mary, escalated throughout the land.

In 1554, Mary, now Queen of England, reluctantly passed sentence on her rival and Lady Jane and her husband were beheaded in the Tower of London.

From that century to modern times, there have been many reported sightings of ghostly figures around the premises along with reports of glasses and bottles being moved. They are believed to be the work of a restless spirit.

The New Inn has been described as the finest example of a medieval galleried Inn to be seen in Britain today. With its richly carved detail, it is a must for history seekers visiting Gloucester.

A Brief History

The New Inn was originally built as a Pilgrims Inn to house visitors to the shrine of King Edward II in St Peter's Abbey. Rebuilt in 1455 it was hugely popular throughout the Middle Ages with a vast retinue of knights, yeomen and gentlemen lodging due to the popularity of holidays in Gloucester at this time.

Various changes through the years have included two small shops opening into Northgate Street, two square stone flagged courtyards and a gilded lion grasping a serpent (symbolising the triumph of good over evil).

In the 16th century srtolling minstrels were popular and plays were staged in the courtyard - it is said that William Shakespeare once appeared there. The inn boasted the city's first tennis court during Tudor times and in the 18th century was noted as a venue for the unusual and bizarre. New additions to the building were added around this time - a brewhouse and malthouse.

In 1858 the inn was bought freehold by the Berry family who owned it until 1942.

The Woodlands Junior School website tells us:

Tennis is one of the oldest of all racquet sports.

During the Tudor times it was played indoors in a large room with a net.Like tennis today, players had to hit the ball over the net. However, in the Tudor times they could also score points by hitting the ball into one of three goals high in the walls. The ball could also be bounced off the walls.

Tudor tennis rackets were made of wood and strung with sheep gut. The leather tennis balls were filled with hair.

FIRST - Classification Variable: Place or Location

Date of FIRST: 1/1/1550

More Information - Web URL: Not listed

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reelcutter visited FIRST - Tennis Court in Gloucester - Gloucester, UK 3/8/2015 reelcutter visited it